MATTHEWS – Matthews Commissioner Jeff Miller told fellow board members that relations with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools may be thawing somewhat following the town’s support of House Bill 514 last year.
In 2018, the North Carolina General Assembly enacted State Law 2018-3, which is better known as HB 514, that allows Matthews, Mint Hill, Huntersville and Cornelius to possibly operate their own charter schools. The four communities have long had concerns with CMS regarding student placement, overcrowding and the construction of new schools in their communities.
After the four municipalities signed onto HB 514, the CMS board approved the Municipal Concerns Act which instructs CMS Superintendent Clayton Wilcox to prioritize future capital funding to Charlotte, Davidson and Pineville.
At the Feb. 11 board of commissioners meeting, Miller gave a report on the work of the Municipal Education Advisory Committee, which was formed after CMS passed the Municipal Concerns Act to better enhance communications between the district and the county’s municipalities.
MEAC has met three times since November, and Miller said most of meetings have involved PowerPoint presentations that describes where CMS gets its data, including where growth is expected, how property taxes are spent and busing zones among other items. Future meetings will deal with issues facing CMS, Miller said.
“We (municipalities) haven’t had the opportunity for too much input,” Miller told the board. “They have said they will not build new facilities in Matthews, and we find that unacceptable.”
After Miller was done with his presentation, Commissioner John Higdon asked Miller if he has seen any softening from CMS regarding the Municipal Schools Act.
“I feel that there is a softening of personalities and warmer dialogue going on between us,” Miller said. “But I am not certain how to answer that question just yet. It may be a year down the road before we approach that subject.”
“We can’t wait 15 years for a new school to go up,” Higdon said. “We need a new school, schools in Matthews.”
“I agree,” Mayor Paul Bailey responded.